If you’ve been working in the photography industry for a bit, you’ve probably experienced the following scenario.
You get a seemingly perfect email inquiry, set up a consultation, drive across town to meet with the world’s loveliest engaged couple. You have the best hour(+) long conversation about their love story, listen to every detail about how the big question was popped and their hopes and dreams for their wedding day. You end the meeting with hugs all around and as soon as you get home (after fighting traffic) you send a prompt recap email laying out your pricing, contract terms and validate that you’d absolutely love to work with them. And then…..
No email reply. No signed contract. No response to your gentle, but well-timed, follow up email. This seemingly perfect photographer-client match just vanishes into the ether and you never hear from the couple again. You’ve officially been ghosted.
Damn, that hurts, right?
How To Handle Being Ghosted
I’ve been there and it still happens to me 10+ years into this profession. It hurts less now but it’s still frustrating. When you invest so much time and money (because time is money, people) into a couple and then they disappear with not so much as an email explanation it can be a little pride-bruising. You can’t help but wonder what went wrong and grasp around for an explanation.
Here’s how I handle it. I accept no answer as THE answer. Choosing a wedding photographer is a complex experience with a lot of variables. Hell, getting married is a complex experience with a lot of variables. Sometimes being ghosted is about a dollar amount or one photographer’s style over another – and sometimes it isn’t about the photographer at all.
Don’t focus so much on needing closure from clients that ghost you. Instead, focus on automating your sales process and crafting your pitch and portfolio. These are things that often seal the deal with clients who really do want to work with you. And for clients that don’t, here’s what I do. I sent one final followup email about a week after the initial contract to secure their wedding date is sent. If they don’t follow up, I file their info into a folder called “lost contact” and move on!
That’s called creating your own closure, and damn, it feels good.